The world is changing fast and to keep up you need local knowledge with global context.
South Africa’s economic woes are being shrugged off by Cape Town’s tourism sector, it seems. A new hotel is selling its penthouse suite for a staggering R140,000 per night, while its standard rooms are priced at a not-too-shabby R18,000. Cape Town already has an abundance of high-end guesthouses and private holiday rentals catering for well-heeled visitors. The Royal Portfolio has a reputation for delivering the right type of service required by the world’s richest and most famous and its proprietors have decided to tap in to the Mother City’s popularity as a holiday venue. Entrepreneur Liz Biden has a masterful touch in designing interiors and decorating spaces for comfort and relaxation. She once told me, in an interview for a lifestyle magazine, that she sleeps in every room regularly so that she can absorb the hospitality and pick up on the finer details just as a client would. Nothing escapes her attention, from the way the pillows feel to whether the pictures are hanging in just the right place. Biden’s clients have included the likes of music star Elton John and others of his ilk. Still, while Biden’s offerings are likely to bring in the super-rich crowds, can the Cape Town market sustain yet another high-end hotel? – Jackie Cameron
By James de Villiers
Cape Town – Opened in March, the Silo Hotel in the V&A Waterfront offers incredible views of Cape Town – at a price of course. Room prices start at R12 000 per night (low season) to up to R140 000 per night for the penthouse in peak season.
“They are aspirational rooms, we are a luxury hotel and many of our guests do come from overseas from America [and] from the UK,” Royal Portfolio marketing and communications manager Ross Bowers told Fin24.
“The rooms have views in every direction, you’ve got Robben Island on one side and Table Mountain and Lion’s Head on the other with side and sea right round to the industrial harbour.”
The Silo Hotel is a part of a R500m redevelopment of the historic Grain Silo Complex and sits on top of the Zeitz MOCAA (Museum of Contemporary Art Africa which will open in September 2017.
The hotel, the highest building in the V&A Waterfront, features 28 rooms in seven distinct categories as well as a spa, a gym, two restaurants and two bars.
Bowers said his favourite part of the hotel is the remarkable views of Cape Town through the immense and completely unique windows.
“The pillowed glass windows are an incredible part of the hotel. They reach up to five and a half meters, there’s 56 panels of glass in each one – they create an incredibly unique perspective of Cape Town,” he said.
The interiors of the hotel were designed by The Royal Portfolio owner Liz Biden and features warm colours reflected against the building’s original industrial materials.
The Silo Hotel is a magical space towering above the V&A Waterfront surrounded by the natural wonder of South Africa’s Mother City. pic.twitter.com/4pJxfBkarF
— Discover Cape Town (@365Cape_Town) March 2, 2017
“This stark contrast between old and new is augmented by Liz Biden’s lively and eclectic style of interior design, a quirky distinction from the cold, raw feel of the building’s exterior,” the hotel said in a statement.
“Liz will often incorporate foreign inspiration into local industries by commissioning local artists and designers to help produce her visionary interiors.”
The hotel is a part of the The Royal Portfolio which includes the Royal Malewane luxury safari lodge in the Greater Kruger National Park, Birkenhead House in Hermanus, La Residence in Franschhoek and now The Silo in Cape Town.
“This is our first city hotel and our first hotel open to the public, so we may get a different kind of tourist, perhaps ones that are interested in the art and culture of Cape Town. I’m sure it will be a different mix of visitors to our other hotels as Cape Town continues to attract visitors from far and wide.
“And we certainly look forward to welcoming local Capetonians too. This is a building that we hope Cape Town will be proud of,” Bowers said.